Member Login



Petco Love Lost

Petco Love Lost is a free national, central database for lost and found pets. It uses patented pet facial recognition technology to identify possible matches from both other users who have found a pet, as well as nearly 1,000 shelter partners across the nation. Users can simply upload a photo and begin searching thousands of pet listings, create easily sharable pet alerts (optimized for Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and email), and download printable posters.

Learn more at

petco Love


In a nutshell:  what to do and what not to do from the Missing Animal Response website.

 “...the MAR Network does not advocate using dirty cat litter as a scent lure for cats is the most important one: it is a passive approach to finding a lost cat. Cat owners might believe they are “doing something” by placing dirty clothing or cat feces in their yard. Some Internet folklore posts have claimed that “cats can smell a mile away” and advise you to simply put your cat’s litterbox outside, claiming “it works!” However, scientific research has shown that these cat owners would have a higher chance of recovering their cat by conducting an aggressive, physical search of their yard and their neighbor’s yards. We understand that it is less intrusive to your neighbors to set out a dirty cat litter box on your porch and hope that your cat will come home than it is to ask your neighbor permission to enter their yard and to crawl around under their house or deck, but a physical search of your neighbor’s yards (and baited humane traps and/or digital wildlife cameras) is the most effective recovery method for finding a missing cat.”

The above advice in more detail:

Escaped Inside only and Inside/outside cats will react differently. This guide is for the escaped inside only cat. It also assumes that someone actually saw the cat escape as he might still be hidden in the house somewhere. If you did not see your cat escape get the check list of hiding places on the site. If you are positive your cat has escaped IMMEDIATELY CONDUCT A QUICK SEARCH of your yard and your neighbors. Have a photo on your phone and show it to anyone you meet while on your search.

Understand that your pet will not be acting like the cat you know and love indoors. Your cat is out of its element and will be in survival mode. That means staying hidden and quiet. 

They will not respond to you calling its name or shaking treats.

If your quick search was unsuccessful:

Make Posters and Postcards: Posters, not flyers. Flyers are on regular sized paper. Posters are flyers mounted onto a ¼ sheet of Neon poster board. The site has a good tutorial. The short version is - Cut the poster board into 4ths as a backing for your flyer. Flyer - less is more, “LOST CAT” on top; PHONE # on bottom. At Minute Man Press 50 copies are around $20 and whatever paper they use it’s waterproof! Well worth the $$ and same day service.

lost cat poster
Postcards can be made 4 to a sheet (regular paper) in Microsoft Word. Your name, picture of your cat, any distinguishing features and your phone number. Keep these in your car and on your person. As you see people you can hand them one. Mailmen, dog walkers, UPS drivers are all in the neighborhood and cover large areas.

Expand your search: If your immediate search did not find your cat expand the search. Your search will for now be a 5 house or 250 foot radius around your house. Google “How to draw a circle on a map” and choose Put in your address and zip code, hit “new circle.” Ask permission to search neighbors yards. Don’t expect they will do as thorough a job as you either. Look under and in everything. If a baseball will fit in the space so will your cat.

 Night Searching - Repeat the same detailed search at night with powerful flashlights. The night shine of a cat's eyes are easier to spot than the cat itself. Always have at least 1 other person with you as a lookout. Your cat may spook as you are searching and having somebody hanging back watching will catch the movement.

 The Threshold Point  - The amount of time it takes a cat to break cover. This excerpt was taken directly off the Missing Animal Response website

“The Threshold Factor": This is an interesting behavioral pattern that Kat Albrecht observed with displaced cats. Many of these cats initially hide in silence, but eventually break cover and meow, return to their home or the escape point (window or door), or finally enter a humane trap. While some cats take only hours or a few days to reach their threshold, many others take several days (typically ten to twelve days) before they break cover. We suspect the threshold is reached due to their thirst, although more research needs to be conducted into this lost cat behavior.”

 So if you don’t find them right away - DON”T GIVE UP!

We of course need to address the fact that your cat may return on its own. Like liter boxes leaving food and articles of clothing out may attract other animals preventing your cat from feeling safe enough to approach. There are differing views on this. Whichever you decide you need to monitor the point of escape .

Monitoring Devices

Wildlife trail camera -
Pros - Work great for monitoring your yard or a sighting area to confirm it’s your cat. Gives you 24/7 coverage as cats move mostly at night.
Cons - Cost. Models can start in the $40 Range and go up. 

Baby monitors -  
Pros - can monitor a food station, trap or point of escape should your cat return
Cons - must be looking at monitor to see cat, requires an outdoor socket to power

Driveway alerts -
Pros - can be purchased for around $20. Are wireless. Run on batteries. Receiver can be carried with you wherever you are in the house giving you 24/7 coverage
Cons - none really, they have a range of about 400 ft. That should cover most yards

Humane Traps

These can be borrowed from shelters and rescues. Google for your area. Local Equipment rental places sometimes carry them.

Food is placed at the back to lure cats in

Never leave a trap set to spring if you are unable to check it every 2 - 3 hours. You leave your cat exposed to predators, aggressive feral cats in your area and the elements

Do lock it in the open position at night so your cat will get used to going inside

Shelters, Rescues and Pet Stores

Flyers and phone calls to each of these. The more time that goes by the more likely your cat has been picked up. New owners will need supplies for their new kitty and hopefully a vet visit. Everything I read says to visit local shelters and look for yourself at new arrivals. This revisists the “don’t rely on others doing a thorough job” concept. People have good intentions but often not the follow thru.

The internet has great tips if you take the time to look. This is just a starting point. Good Luck


P.O. Box 144 •  Stewartsville, NJ 08886  •  (610) 881-6700 •  info [ at ]